Alumni

Mira Balberg

Balberg, Mira (Religious Studies)
Mira Balberg is Assistant professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University, who specializes in ancient Judaism. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in which she studied Hebrew Bible and Talmud, and a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford (2011). Her areas of teaching include Hebrew Bible, Second Temple literature, Hellenistic Judaism, and Rabbinics.  Her book Purity, Body, and Self in Early Rabbinic Literature (University of California Press, 2014) explores the transformations of the biblical purity system in rabbinic literature in light of contemporaneous Greek and Roman ideas of personhood and corporeality. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled Blood for Thought: The Rabbinic Reinvention of Sacrifice.

Elissa Bemporad (History)
Elissa Bemporad is the Jerry and William Ungar Chair in East European Jewish History and the Holocaust, and Associate Professor of History at Queens College of the City University of New York. Her first book, Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk, won the National Jewish Book Award, the Frankel Prize in Contemporary History, the Felix Gross Prize, and received an honorable mention for the Jordan Schnitzer Prize in Modern Jewish History. Elissa is now working on a book entitled Legacy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets, which will be published by Oxford University Press, and is co-editing a collection of primary sources on Jewish women in Central and Eastern Europe. She is currently an NEH fellow.

Mara Benjamin

Benjamin, Mara (Religious Studies)
Mara Benjamin is Associate Professor of Religion and Jewish studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University's Department of Religious Studies and is the author of Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2009).  Her articles have appeared in Jewish Social Studies and Prooftexts.  She is a recipient of an NEH Summer Stipend for her current book project, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought. 

Sarah BenorBenor, Sarah B. (Linguistics)
Sarah Bunin Benor is Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles) and Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Southern California Linguistics Department. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Linguistics in 2004. She is the author of Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers University Press, 2012), as well as many articles about Jewish languages, Yiddish, and American Jews. Dr. Benor is founding co-editor of the Journal of Jewish Languages and creator of the Jewish Language Research Website and the Jewish English Lexicon.


Bernstein, Shana (History)
Shana Bernstein is Clinical Associate Professor of Legal Studies at Northwestern University, where she also teaches classes in American Studies and History. She is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. After receiving her Ph.D. in history at Stanford she held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Latino Studies before joining Southwestern University’s history department as an assistant, and later Associate, Professor. Her first book, Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Oxford University Press, 2011), reinterprets U.S. civil rights activism by revealing its roots in the interracial efforts of Mexican, Jewish, African, and Japanese Americans in mid-century Los Angeles, and showing how the early Cold War facilitated, rather than derailed, some forms of activism. Bernstein is currently working on a project that examines the environmental health activism of multiracial working class, immigrant neighborhoods in early twentieth century Chicago.

Braiterman, Zachary J. (Religious Studies)
Associate Professor of Religion, Religion Department, Syracuse University, NY

Bruch, Mia (History)
Research Fellow, Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan

Campos, Michelle (History)
Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Department of History, University of Florida

Julia P. CohenCohen, Julia P. (History)
Julia Phillips Cohen is an Associate Professor in the Program in Jewish Studies and the Department of History at Vanderbilt University. Her publications include her monograph Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014); Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History of the Ottoman Judeo-Spanish World & Its Diaspora, 1700-1950 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014) (co-edited with Sarah Abrevaya Stein), “Oriental by Design: Ottoman Jews, Imperial Style, and the Performance of Heritage,” American Historical Review 119:2 (April 2014), and, most recently, “The East as a Career: Far Away Moses & Company in the Marketplace of Empires," Jewish Social Studies 21:2 (Winter 2016).

Dina DanonDanon, Dina (History)
Assistant Professor in Judaic Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Professor Danon's primary research interests are the Sephardi communities of the eastern Mediterranean and the history of the Ottoman Empire. Her doctoral dissertation, "The Transformation of the Jewish Community of Izmir, 1847-1918" draws on a large body of previously unexplored Ladino archival material and was a recipient of the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Foundation for Jewish Culture in 2011. Danon's teaching interests span the full range of Jewish history, with a particular focus on the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities of the Mediterranean world. Her publications include "Abraham Danon, la vie d'un maskil ottoman, 1857-1925," in Itinéraires Sépharades, ed. Esther Benbassa, (Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2010), a translation of the 1847 Ladino "Shaavat Aniim" in The Sephardic Studies Reader (forthcoming, Stanford University Press), and several entries in the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (forthcoming, Brill).

Glaser, Amelia (Comparative Literature)
Associate Professor, Department of Literature, and Director, Russian and Soviet Studies Program, University of California in San Diego

Dan HellerHeller, Daniel (History)
Dan Heller is an assistant professor in the Department of Jewish Studies, McGill University. His first book, Jabotinsky's Children: Polish Jews and the Rise of Right-Wing Zionism, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. In the spring of 2016, Dan received the Noel H. Fieldhouse Award Distinguished Teaching Prize, awarded annually to one member of McGill's Faculty of Arts.

Kaplan, Gregory (Religious Studies)
Assistant Professor and Anna Smith Fine Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University

Renana Keydar (Comparative Literature) 
Renana Keydar is a postdoctoral fellow at the Minerva Center for Human Rights in the Hebrew University's Faculty of Law. She is affiliated with the interdisciplinary program "Human Rights Under Pressure: Ethics, Law and Politics" under the joint auspices of the Hebrew University Jerusalem and the Free University Berlin. Her current research project explores the ethics of the plurality of storytelling in transitional justice mechanisms. 
Renana received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Stanford University (2015). Her dissertation is an interdisciplinary examination of the changes in notions of post-atrocity justice from 1945 to 9/11 through the joint prism of law and culture. Prior to her graduate studies, she earned an LLB (magna cum laude) and a BA (political science, magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University and served as a legal advocate in the Israeli Ministry of Justice, High Court of Justice Department. Next year, Renana will be a fellow of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Koltun-Fromm, Kenneth (Religious Studies)
Is a member of the religion department at Haverford College. He teaches a wide range of courses in modern Jewish thought and culture, together with material studies in religion. His research focuses on Jewish conceptions of identity, authority, authenticity, and materiality. Kennith has published four books–Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity (2001),  Abraham Geiger’s Liberal Judaism: Personal Meaning and Religious Authority (2006), Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America (2010), and Imagining Jewish Authenticity: Vision and Text in American Jewish Thought (2015)–and one edited volume, Thinking Jewish Culture in America (2014). He is currently co-editing two projects–one on conceptions of the Jewish God and the other on Sacred Texts and Graphic Novels.

Naomi Koltun-FrommKoltun-Fromm, Naomi (Religious Studies)
Naomi Koltun-Fromm is presently professor of Religion at Haverford College, where she teaches courses in Hebrew Bible, comparative Biblical exegesis and the history of Jerusalem. Her book, Hermeneutics of Holiness was published by Oxford in 2010. Prof. Koltun-Fromm's current research focuses on the religious and symbolic meanings and historical manifestations of Jerusalem as holy city. She lives in Haverford, PA with her husband and three children.

Emily KopleyKopley, Emily (English)
Emily Kopley received her Ph. D. from the Stanford Department of English in July 2013, and has just completed her Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill, in the Dept. of English. This past term, Emily taught a course that she designed for McGill's Jewish Studies program called The Messiah in Twentieth-Century Jewish and Christian Literature. She is currently working on an article on the same topic.

Koss, Andrew (History)
Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Colgate University, NY

Cecile KuznitzKuznitz, Cecile (History)
Cecile E. Kuznitz is Associate Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies and Historical Studies at Bard College. She also serves as Senior Advisor at the Max Weinreich Center, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Her book YIVO and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture: Scholarship for the Yiddish Nation was published in 2014 by Cambridge University Press. Cecile has served as the Workmen's Circle/Dr. Emanuel Patt Visiting Professor in Eastern European Jewish Studies at YIVO and a Visiting Scholar at Vilnius University. She has also held fellowships at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Akiba LernerLerner, Akiba (Religious Studies)
Akiba Lerner is an Associate Professor of Religion and Theology at Santa Clara University where he teaches courses on Jewish thought, prophetic politics, and film. He has published on Jewish thought and is currently completing a manuscript on redemptive hope.

Emily J. LevinLevine, Emily (History)
Emily J. Levine (Ph.D. History and the Humanities, 2008) was promoted to Associate Professor of Modern European history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016. Her first book, Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School (University of Chicago Press, 2013) was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize by the American Historical Association for the best book in European history from 1815 through the 20th century. The book was also a finalist for the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Cultural and Media Studies awarded by the Association for Jewish Studies. Her article, “Baltimore Teaches, Göttingen Learns: Cooperation, Competition, and the Research University,” based on research conducted while she was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in Berlin, was published in June 2016 in the American Historical Review.

David LevinskyLevinsky, David (Religious Studies)
After five years as the Associate Rabbi at Chicago Sinai Congregation, David Levinsky is the Saidye Rosner Bronfman Rabbinic Chair at Temple Har Shalom in Park City, Utah. He is working on a book about Jewish messianism. David received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies in 2009.

Mandsager, John (Religious Studies)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Jewish Studies, University of South Carolina

Michels, Tony (History)
Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Moss, Kenneth (History)
Director of the Jewish Studies Program, Associate Professor, Felix Posen Chair in Modern Jewish History, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University, MD

Naar, Devin (History)photo of alum
Devin E. Naar is the Marsha and Jay Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies, assistant professor of History, and chair of the new Sephardic Studies Program at the University of Washington. He teaches courses in Jewish history; Holocaust history and memory; and Jews, Christians and Muslims in Eastern Mediterranean in modern times. Naar completed his PhD in history at Stanford University where his dissertation, “Jewish Salonica and the Making of the ‘Jerusalem of the Balkans,’ 1890-1943,” recievied the department’s award for “best written dissertation.” A former Fulbright scholar to Greece, Naar is currently a fellow in the Society of Scholars at the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities, and also sits on the academic advisory councils of the Center for Jewish History and the American Sephardi Federation in New York. See Devin's Jewish Studies faculty page here.

Olson, Jess (History)
Associate Professor of Jewish History, Associate Director of Center for Israel Studies, Yeshiva University, NY

Peskin, Josh (Religious Studies)
Josh Peskin, Ph.D., utilizes a background in Strategic Communications and Modern Jewish Thought in his role overseeing fundraising and communications activity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. As RRC/JRC enters a new era for academic and Jewish organizations, the strategic advancement staff focuses on engaging our community and laying the foundation for a financially healthy and vibrant Reconstructionist future. 
Peskin is a member of the president’s cabinet and works closely with college and movement leadership around a wide range of issues that impact students, faculty, staff and Reconstructionist congregations internationally. Prior to joining RRC/JRC, Peskin was a Senior Strategist at Identity Advisors, providing strategic counsel to a diverse range of clients, including foundations, higher education institutions, religion in public life advocacy organizations and others. Peskin holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Religious Studies and completed a dissertation on the work of Emmanuel Levinas.

Pines, Noam (Comparative Literature)
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, State University of New York in Buffalo

Robinson, Shira (History)
Shira Robinson, who earned her Ph.D. in History in 2005, taught at the University of Iowa for two years and held a one year fellowship at Princeton's Davis Center for Historical Studies before moving to the George Washington University, where she is now Associate Professor of History and International Affairs. Her first book, Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State, will appear with Stanford University Press in October 2013.

Rokem, Na'ama (Comparative Literature)
Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization Department, The University of Chicago, IL

Simone SchweberSchweber, Simone (Education)
Simone Schweber graduated from Stanford with a PhD in Jewish Education in 1999. She was very lucky to be offered a position teaching the Holocaust course at Stanford for one year because Aron Rodrigue was on sabbatical. She now serves as the Goodman Professor of Education and Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Tony Michels, who also graduated from Stanford, is her good colleague and friend. She is author of the books Making Sense of the Holocaust: Lessons from Classroom Practice (published by Teachers College Press), and with Debbie Findling, Teaching the Holocaust (a textbook for teachers in Jewish schools). In addition, she has written numerous articles published in Teachers College Record, Jewish Social Studies, American Journal of Education, and the Journal of Jewish Education--all of which deal in some way with teaching and learning about genocide in various schooling contexts. 

Alyssa SepinwallSepinwall, Alyssa (History)
Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall is Professor of History at California State University – San Marcos and past winner of the university’s Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award.  After receiving her PhD in History and Jewish Studies from Stanford in 1998, she was Lucius N. Littauer Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.  She is the author of The Abbé Grégoire and the Making of Modern UniversalismHaitian History: New Perspectives, and many articles on French-Jewish history, French revolutionary history, French colonial history, and Haitian history.  Her recent research examined depictions of Muslim-Jewish relationships in recent French cinema (“Reimagining Jewish-Muslim Relations on Screen:  French-Jewish Filmmakers and the Middle East Conflict,” in Zvi Jonathan Kaplan and Nadia Malinovich, eds., The Jews of Modern France: Images and Identities [Brill], forthcoming September 2016).

Marci ShoreShore, Marci (History)
Marci Shore is associate professor of history at Yale University.  She is the translator of Michał Głowiński's The Black Seasons and the author of Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation's Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968 (Yale University Press, 2006) and The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe (Crown, 2013).  Currently she is at work on a book project titled “Phenomenological Encounters: Scenes from Central Europe,” an examination of the history of phenomenology and existentialism in East-Central Europe.  Her recent articles and essays include “Out of the Desert: A Heidegger for Poland” (The Times Literary Supplement); “The Banality of Merkel” (Foreign Affairs); “The Jewish Hero History Forgot” (The New York Times); “Rachelka’s Tablecloth: Poles and Jews, Intimacy and Fragility ‘on the Periphery of the Holocaust,’” (Tr@nsit Online); “Bezdomni ludzi w potrzaskanym świecie” (Gazeta Wyborcza); “On Cosmopolitanism and the Avant-Garde, and a Lost Innocence of Mitteleuropa” (Utopia/Dystopia: Conditions of Historical Possibility); and “Can We See Ideas?  On Evocation, Experience, and Empathy” (Modern European Intellectual History).

Silverman, Noam (Education)
Noam Silverman is Head of High School at The Heschel School in New York City

Spiegel, Nina (History)
Nina S. Spiegel is the Rabbi Joshua Stampfer Assistant Professor of Israel Studies at Portland State University. Her first book, Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine (Wayne State University Press) was published in 2013 and recognized as a finalist for both the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and a National Jewish Book Award. 

Sarah Abrevaya SteinStein, Sarah Abrevaya (History)
A 2015-2016 Guggenheim Fellow, Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Professor of History and Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies at UCLA.  Her award winning scholarship includes Extraterritorial Dreams:  European Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Saharan Jews and the Fate of French Algeria (University of Chicago Press, 2014),Sephardi Lives:  a documentary history, 1700-1950 (Stanford University Press, 2014), and Plumes:  Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce  (Yale University Press, 2008).  With the support of a Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, she is now working on Family Papers:  a Sephardi Journey Through the Twentieth Century, from which her presentation is drawn. 

Max StrassfeldStrassfeld, Max (Religious Studies)
Max Strassfeld is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Arizona. He is currently working on his manuscript, Transing the Talmud: Androgynes and Eunuchs in Rabbinic Law.

Sufrin, Claire (Religious Studies)
Claire Sufrin is a Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern University. In Fall 2013, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Her most recent article, "Beyond the Chasm: Religion and Literature after the Holocaust" appeared in Thinking Jewish Culture, edited by Ken Koltun-Fromm and published by Lexington Books in 2014.

Sussman, Sarah (History)
Curator of French and Italian Collections, Green Library, Stanford University

Tennen, Deborah (French and Italian)

Weiss, Gillian (History)
Associate Professor, Department of History, Case Western Reserve, University, OH

Zakai, Sivan A. Kroll-Zeldin (Education)
Dr. Sivan Zakai is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Graduate Center for Education at American Jewish University and an Affiliated Scholar at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University. She directs the AJU Teaching Israel Fellowship, a year-long course of study for exemplary educators who teach about Israel in Jewish educational settings, and the Children’s Learning About Israel Project, a longitudinal study of how American Jewish children think about Israel.